Imam Muzani penned a work on thefiqhof his teacher, Imam Shafi’i, which
would serve as the basis for some of the most significantfiqhbooks to come. This work is known
al-Muzanior justal-Mukhtasar. In
fact, when the jurists mention a book just by the nameal-Mukhtasar,
then it is understood to be Mukhtasar al-Muzani.
Inal-Hawi al-Kabir, Mawardi said,
“Imam Shafi’s As-hab confined themselves to theMukhtasarof [Imam] Ibrahim b. Yahya
al-Muzani because the encyclopedic works are too drawn-out for a student to
grasp and to lengthy for a scholar to review. The students of Imam Shafi’i made
this work a primary source easy to present to the beginner and sufficient for
the advanced scholar…”
This is a work on which the As-hab al-Wujuh expended tremendous
resources studying, reviewing, elucidating, and commentating on. Thus, we can
surely note that it is one of the primary works in the Shafi’i Madhhab.
Imam Muzani arranged the works chapters starting with purity,
then prayer and the other chapters of worship, followed by business and trade,
then marriage and the chapters connected to it, and then on into crimes and
punishments, statecraft and judiciary issues, etc. And the As-hab al-Wujuh
mostly followed the chapter layout ofMukhtasar al-Muzani.
As we shall discuss forthcoming, other works in themadhhabdeveloped – often being based on
and perhaps to a certain extent,Mukhtasar al-Muzanibecome used less frequent as a
teaching text. While in some biographical literature we can find latter-day
scholars using it too. For example, inKhulasat al-Athar, it is mentioned that Shaykh ‘Abd
al-Ra’uf al-Munawi would teach it in al-Madrasah al-Salahiyyah in Cairo
neighboring the resting place of Imam Shafi’i, and Nur al-Din al-Shabaramallisi
was one to have attended his lessons. And some have ascribed a
commentary on the Mukhtasarto Munawi as well.
Mukhtasar al-Muzanihas been printed numerous times; some
current prints include its respective commentaries. One edition that features
just the text alone is Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut’s 1998/1419 edition,
edited by Muhammad ‘Abd al-Qadir Shahin.